Balochistan lags much behind its other provincial brothers as far as access to and quality of education is concerned, with a recent survey putting a spotlight on the province’s sorry state of education. According to the survey, education in Balochistan needs serious attention as the literacy rate in the province stands at a mere 33 percent.
There are thousands of ghost schools in existence across Balochistan, still, we are yet to see the government take concrete steps to stall this continued irreparable damage that is being caused to Balochistan’s children and their future.
Ghost teachers, like ghost schools, are a burden on the education system, especially in rural areas of Balochistan. Most public schools in rural areas of Balochistan lack basic facilities like boundary walls, chairs, toilets, clean drinking water, electricity, course books and in more instances than, even teachers.
Despite their wilful absence from duty, the teachers continue to get paid by the authorities. One of the major reason for this behavior on teachers’ part is the very selection of these teachers. Many teachers are inducted on the basis of political affiliation and other “references” rather than their qualification and educational achievements. And of course, the political connections do come in handy when you have to get paid without actually working, making these public servants literally untouchable by the law.
As a result, not only have the children of Balochistan suffered, but the socioeconomic system of the province has also been left in shambles with a large population that has been left unable to contribute to the community and the country in a positive manner.
Poor Man’s Choice
Another reason for the continuous neglect public schools have faced in Balochistan is the elite groups, tribal and political leaders. Anyone who can afford to do so will send their kids to the provincial capital or other provinces to pursue better education, away from the dungeons that public schools in Balochistan have become. These ruins are reserved for the deprived population of Balochistan.
Other reasons from the mess public education in Balochistan is in include absence of stud material like course-books and other infrastructural needs. The sad reality is that since most of the population is not well-informed, they hardly raise a voice against the system.
With the emergence of mega projects like CPEC that are expected to develop the region, the expectations of the population have found new life.
For the moment, not much has changed. Schools that were without buildings are still without buildings, ones without books and teachers are still without the same and girls affected by illiteracy still remain affected as before. While the growing overall infrastructure development in Balochistan is welcome, what is needed much more is investment in the education sector that improves the level of the public institutions and helps children of the province afford a fighting chance for survival in a highly informed world. Until that happens, the children of Balochistan will only be good for peddling or begging along the highways and besides the infrastructure currently taking shape in the name of development.